Trial of Warrant Case – 4


The initial steps include the filing of a FIR. When the FIR is filed in the police headquarters, an investigation is conducted to discover the facts and relevant details of the case. Once the investigation is completed, a charge-sheet is filed and the documents are forwarded by the police headquarters to the Magistrate. The steps in warrant cases instituted on police report are:

  1. Supply of copy of police report to accused in compliance with Section 207. (Section 238)
  2. Discharge of accused on baseless charges. (Section 239)
  3. Framing of charges. (Section 240)
  4. Conviction on a guilty plea. (Section 241)
  5. Evidence for the prosecution. (Section 242)
  6. Evidence for defence. (Section 243)


A copy of the police report and other document relevant to the case ought to be provided to any individual or people who appears or is brought before a magistrate at the commencement of the trial. And the Magistrate shall satisfy himself in complying with the provisions of Section 207. This is to ensure that the accused are aware of the charges against him and can get prepare for defence under fair trial by law.


Once the Magistrate gets the police report and other relevant documents and provides them to the accused, the Magistrate shall consider each report. A hearing shall be concened and a reasonable opportunity shall be provided for both the accused prosecution to present their case. The Magistrate examines the accused if necessary. If the charge against the accused is found to be baseless and lacking in substance, the accused shall be discharged under Section 239. the prima facie of the case is also considered.

In the case of State vs Sitaram Dayaram Kachhi[1], the accused, Sitaram was acquitted under Section 239.

In the case of State of Himachal Pradesh V. Krishan Lal Pradhan[2], the Supreme Court held that there was sufficient relevant material on record and the prima facie of the case was established by one judge. But the succeeding judge came to the decision on the same materials that no charge could be established and therefore, an order of discharge was passed. But it was held by the Supreme Court that no succeeding judge can pass an order of discharge.


Section 240 of CrPC authorises the magistrate to consider the police report and even to examine the accused if he feels the need to. If the magistrate feels the presence of valid grounds to presume that the accused has committed to try the offence to adequately punish the accused in his opinion. Then the written charge is framed against the accused and the trial is conducted after charge is read and explained to the accused. Framing of the charge is an obligation of the court and the issue must be considered reasonably.

In the case of Lt. Col. S.K. Kashyap V. The State Of Rajasthan[3], the accused files an appeal challenging the authority of the special judge appointed to hear the case. The appeal is failed and dismissed and the case proceedings are continued.


Clause 2 of Section 240 describes that the charge against the accused shall be read and explained to the accused. once the accused understands the charges against him, he shall be asked whether he pleads guilty of the offence or wishes to challenge the charge by a fair trial under the law.

[1] AIR 1958 MP 99, 1958 CriLJ 522

[2] AIR 1987 SC 773, 1987 CriLJ 709, JT 1987 (1) SC 359, 1987 (1) SCALE 261, (1987) 2 SCC 17

[3] AIR 1971 SC 1120, 1971 CriLJ 832, (1971) 2 SCC 126, 1971 3 SCR 881, 1971 (4) WLN 23

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